Denmark has released the eight artists competing in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, which means we rushed off to coordinate interviews with the artists. When we reached out to Mariyah LeBerg we were met with an ecstatic yes!
Mariyah LeBerg is a Danish and Lebanese artist who has toured across Europe and Asia. In 2018 she appeared as a speaker for the TEDxOdense speaker series, discussing her upbringing in a mixed-faith household and how it would ultimately lead to her career as a rock musician. In 2019 she would drop her debut EP “Dragon Entering” under just MARIYAH and now she’s turning her attention towards the Danish national selection as her next career step.
Hello Mariyah and welcome to ESCUnited.com, super excited to be able to interview ya today. How have things been for you since the DMGP announcement on January 19th?
Hey there and thanks so much for having me!
Well – to be honest? Crazy! In the best possible way though. I kind of feel like a super hero juggling the DMGP and 15 month old twins.
I can only imagine, bless you! And you’ve known about your participation long before the announcement was made, what was your first reaction when you got the news? How hard has it been to keep it all a secret?
My first reaction was actually laughing really hard in disbelief. I honestly couldn’t believe it…Keeping it a secret has been really hard and it feels so good to finally be able to tell everyone. It also makes it more real all of a sudden. Like; this is actually really happening.. I’m still kinda blown away by that
How would you describe your music and sound to our readers? Are there any artists that influence or inspire you as a musician?
That’s a really good question! I’m kind of a chameleon musically. I’ve done everything from rap to punk to world to pop and this song that I’m participating with is nothing like I’ve ever done before. I think the sound is kind of old school and not the typical Eurovision vibe but still has the potential to be – if that makes any sense.
As of artists that I’m inspired by I grew up with everything from Bob Marley to Patsy Cline. I honestly just love music – no matter the genre and I always have. If it touches me and inspires me then it can be a country song or a techno song. Maybe that’s why I’ve always had a hard time limiting myself to just one genre. If I had to do that I would feel like an artist being forced to only paint in black and white
Okay it’s time for some rapid questions so our readers can get to know you better! When you’re not performing music, how do you spend your free time?
Well as I mentioned earlier I’m a twin mom to my two boys Sirius and Noor and that naturally takes up a lot of my time. I also have a horse and do a lot of small little creative projects like alter art on magic cards, doing nails on my friends and making little tiny mushrooms out of clay. I’m out of a family of artists so creativity is kind of in my blood.
You’re tapped to create a Eurovision cover album and get to decide the track list yourself, what songs would you put on the album?
I would definitely put the Olsen brother’s “fly on the wings of love” on there as well as “Euphoria” by Loreen, “Amar Pelos Dois” by Salvador Sobral, “De Diebte” by S10, “City Lights” by Blanche, “Love Injected” by Aminata, “Saudade Saudade” by Maro and honestly all the songs from my fellow participants.
If you were able to take your dream vacation right now free of charge and multiple stops are allowed, where all would you be going?
I’ve always wanted to go to New Zealand, India and Bali – and then I’d swing by some of my friends in China as well.
That sounds like a fantastic trip to me! I have to ask, your songwriting team features some Cheif 1 and Nermin Harambašić, who among them have written a number of DGMP entries. How did you end up working together with these two to write your entry, and what was the songwriting process like?
Well this whole thing kinda started as a quirky little idea. I was sitting there in my mom bubble covered in babies from head to toe and realized how much I missed music – so I wrote Chief1 whom I’ve known for years and was like; hey dude! I wanna try for the Eurovision – how do I do that?
Initially I thought it would be with one of my own songs but then Chief1 sent me a demo that Nermin had made and I really liked it. So Chief and I met at his studio, I made a new theme for the song and wrote the remaining verses and Chief changed the production to fit me better – and voila! “Human” was born. We then sent it in to DR and crossed our fingers.
Now I know that your staging concept for DMGP is under wraps, but if I gave you a few words to describe what we’ll see on February 11th, what would you tell me?
Well my song is about how we’re all just human in spite of everyone trying to be perfect and fit in to the “Kardashian mold” so what I hope to do with my performance, is peel of some of the layers and bring the honest human being out in the light..
For those who want to connect with you ahead of or after the selection– where can they find you and your music?
I’m on instagram and facebook: Mariyah LeBerg and also on all streaming services both as Mariyah LeBerg and also just “MARIYAH”. I released my debut solo EP under that name back in 2019 but when we signed up for DMGP we thought it sounded better to use my last name as well.
In closing, do you have a final message you’d like to share with the readers of ESCUnited?
I just really hope you enjoy my song and my performance. Most importantly the message behind it all; that it’s okay to not be perfect all the time and that we should lower our expectations of ourselves and the people around us. We are really beautiful when we are being our authentic selves and really nobody is perfect – not even Kim Kardashian. And that’s what makes us human in all our perfect imperfections
Mariya LeBerg will compete against seven other artists in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix on February 11th, where the winner will be decided by a split jury and public voting structure. The winner of the national final will go on to represent Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool this coming May.
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